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Located in the south-central part of South Dakota, Mellette County contains a rich history full of interesting facts that are worth exploring. Here are 7 of the most fascinating facts about Mellette County's history:

1. Named After The First Governor:

Mellette County was named after the first Governor of South Dakota, Arthur C. Mellette. Governor Mellette was instrumental in creating the state of South Dakota, which was formed in 1889.

2. Home To The Lakota Sioux Nation:

Mellette County is home to the Lakota Sioux Nation. The Lakota Sioux Nation is a Native American tribe that has lived in the region for thousands of years, and they continue to play a significant role in the county's cultural history.

3. Created From Two Other Counties:

Mellette County was created in 1911 by carving out a portion of Lyman County and a portion of Tripp County. This was done to create a new county with a population that was large enough to justify having its own government.

4. Home To The Ghost Town Of Swett:

Mellette County is home to the ghost town of Swett. Once a bustling town with a population of 40 people, Swett is now an abandoned area. The town was put up for sale in 2014, and the entire town was sold for just $900,000.

5. Known For Its Badlands:

Mellette County is known for its rugged terrain, which includes impressive badlands that showcase the county's unique geological history. These badlands are a popular tourist destination for visitors interested in hiking, camping, and exploring the rural wilderness.

6. Former Home To A Military Prison:

Mellette County was the location of the Fort Meade Military Prison, which provided confinement for military prisoners during World War II. This prison was officially closed in 1947, and the land was eventually sold off to private developers.

7. Birthplace Of A Medal Of Honor Recipient:

Mellette County was the birthplace of Dan Daly, a Marine who received the Medal of Honor for his heroism during World War I. Daly was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions at the Battle of Belleau Wood, where he displayed incredible courage and bravery under fire.

In conclusion, Mellette County's history is full of rich stories and fascinating facts that showcase the county's unique identity and historical significance. From the rugged badlands to the Lakota Sioux Nation and beyond, Mellette County has left an indelible mark on the history of South Dakota.

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